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Dum Luk's

Who lacks wealth, cunning, office, brawn, beauty, charm or brains must live by sheer dumb luck alone

Updated: 2018-03-10T03:32:11.878-08:00


Brother Heinrick's Christmas


In Dulci Jubilo is attributed to a Dominican Abbot of the fourteenth century, Heinrick Suso. The fable suggests that one night the Abbot heard the angels singing it as he was stabling his donkey Sigismund.
In 1985 John Rutter used the fable to write a narration to accompany the music he wrote (auto play, sorry) based on Brother Heinrick's Christmas.  
In the 1990's Jurgen Gothe, then proprietor of the best radio show in the world: Disc Drive*, made it an Advent tradition in our house. I'm sure many others in Cascadia did the same. When Canada's Tories became the Reee-foorm party, they set their sights on the destruction of the CBC Stereo. As they succeeded in dumbing down everything, I found a copy of Three Fables by John Rutter to add to our collection to continue the tradition.
Some when in this process the idea came to make a mobile illustrative of the tale

Diana created the 'sillies' (as she calls them) over a couple of  years and finally I set up the mobile.

Enter the villain of the piece:
This is Jinx who, when we were all out shopping, somehow acquired one of the angels from the top of the mobile without bringing the mobile down! That is a standing leap of about 8 feet!

Maybe next year we will get Brother Heinrick back in place.
*CBC Stereo, Vancouver B.C. Canada

Misfiled Vagueries


About this time of year I embark on all the filing I might have done throughout the past year if I had half the brains god gave a crab apple. Among the bills and legal notices I found the following this year:

The tragedy of American medicine is that money buried the ugly fact before it arranged an opportunity to kill the beautiful hypothesis.

As my twin lodestones, Twain and Marquis, might advise, it is a good to write one's own obituary to ensure the salient points are included. Leave the dust mote matter to the depiction of the cub reporter and junior reporter. the process will build their moral fibre by habituating them to their depravity their life offers.

Oh Yeah, I Remember Her ...


Investigator — not window dressing.

She was Veep for Hillary Clinton in the first term. What a neat trick that was. Made all those radical lefties sit down — in the back of the bus — and shut up while we all did the increment shuffle. Man! Good times. Good times. How those lobbyists strutted their money around.

Hell, NO! I do not want Senator Warren any other place than in the US Senate giving the corporacrats and their lackeys the scrutiny and regulation they too richly deserve. I want her example to draw a lot more liberals, progressives, lefties, folks — what-ever-you-call-’em — into congress by talking sense rather than talking points. That’s how we  make this county as great as we can be — not by putting on a flag pin and saluting a brass pot. Or solving our problems with a baby step forward and a giant step back.

At Times The Rain Gods Drive Us Mad ...


Diana gifted me with The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary.
I opened the first volume randomly and my eye lit upon:

"Jornada ... An act of a play; a book or canto of a poem. 2. In Mexico etc.: a day's journey; spec. one across a waterless dessert tract with no place to halt."
A more concisely perfect description of many second acts has seldom been penned.

Quandary #326


As beauty resides in the beholder's eye, so logic belongs to whoever defines its terms.
Your reasons are not mine.
Hence the difficulty of persuading by "reasoned argument."
Logic is a game of mathematics. Follow its rules and there is no escape. The conclusion arises from the premise.
Ventilate the game with reality -- which includes such messy things as passion -- and all changes. Surprising information appears and certainty is shaken beyond its foundation.
Not to worry -- it is all argy-bargy in the end.

So Far As


Stars drew our eyes until we saw patterns palpable to all.
Stars so far as we could see until we learned to see farther.
Universes! They, too, took form and pattern, so far as we could see.
Now the cosmos awaits our puny wit to find plurality so far as we can see.

So near can we see, we split neutron from proton with a mighty flash and bang
To announce, We Master!, with lots of people killed and stuff blown up,
Then we looked again and, so near as we can see, there's finer yet to see.
Some claim, so near can they see, the scale changes yet again. Many times.

Look near or far the pattern repeats: A fractal universe with no ends.
The creation ever iterates; we part of it and it all of us.
The old man hums a tune into his brass spittoon
Cocks an eye at the old moon and allows a point or two for the metaphor.
But shakes his head at my hopes of passing. Too, too many missed chances,
too few noble deeds, so little simple honesty, so near and far as he has seen.


Last Night I Committed Poetry – I Think.


Like the vivid hue
Of a young man's blue shirt,
Another's death engulfs me.
And, as promised, diminishes me.
Yet, after ebb,
I return to myself
a little closer

"Tis the Season



"Talking about the Poor"


Erik Loomis  is right to question a speakers position: Pro? Con? In? Out? Pay Me? Bless me? or round about?

Brecht said: "First feed the face and then talk right and wrong!"

One's moral worth is best measured after dinner and the Doctor's bill is paid; Not as a ticket of admission to the hall.

Winter Solstice 2013


Mobile: Brother Heinrich
By DJS & ml  
The English composer John Rutter delighted to tell the legend of Heinrich Susso, a 14th-century Dominican Abbot, who is credited with notating In Dulce Jubilo
One night, as Heinrich finished trampling the monastery's grapes with the help of Sigismund, the donkey, on the way to Sigismund's stable, they saw angels dancing in the sky and heard their song. Heinrich attempted to notate the song for the choir to sing at Christmas. Sigismund helped him remember the tune at a crucial point in the bridge.
We first heard this on Jurgen Goth's Disc Drive in the '80's on CBC Stereo.  Seven or eight years ago DJS knit Brother Heinrich as one of her Sillies. Now the cast is complete, ml built a mobile to display them all.  Melissa hung the mobile.

Alas Alack a Day! Why Was I Not Invited to the Wake?


Digby posts a quote which, despite her usually persuasive prose, and without the least fault on her part, induces me to wander off her point to my own pointless weepy stuff for the English language:
Peter Ludlow, a professor of philosophy at Northwestern and a fan of Mr. Brown’s work, wrote in The Huffington Post that, “Project PM under Brown’s leadership began to slowly untangle the web of connections between the U.S. government, corporations, lobbyists and a shadowy group of private military and infosecurity (sic) consultants.”
When did among die?

Between thee and me
Among thee and me and the old bailey.

Yet here is this putative academic, with a presumable pile higher and deeper, quoted in a fileting of the language worthy of Macheath.

This is not the first time I noticed this atrocity. The first half hundred that passed barely stirred my stupor. This year's wine being altogether thinner did make it grate more thoroughly of late. Until this -- if only to belie the death of blogs -- results.
Remember, please! Connect two only with between. Conjoin all and sundry more with among!

Forward Fulmanations


While assembling the recipes for Dum Luk's Ordinary I came across this file. It is a sketch to begin a book. But which one? The synapses issue a stale fart and inquire if any whiskey might help? I give my best rendition of a deer in the headlights in response.
This being more a writer's scrap book, or doodlewerk, I take the liberty of offering to quote myself:
Neither to inform nor instruct do I write. Rather I hope to share my mediocrities, triumphs, and the failures that made them both possible. This is a work of fiction. I have taken to heart the hoary mantra of Advice to Writers:Write only of what you knowFor years I fulminated against this as a homicide of fancy leading at best to mere journalism – and folk think me opinionated now! “Mere”, of course, meant journalism in theory, Kipling’s “who, what, where, when, why and how” purveyed by a neutral observer, not the ill-kempt, own horn sounding, condescending verbiage of modern infotainment (so little info and hardly more tainment, *sigh*). Life has beaten into me at last that what makes a writer valuable is his point of view – that is: the imagination through which the writer conceives this world. First, last and in-between a writer must study his own imagination. All that happens to him must be filtered, reduced, transmogrified in the lens and alembic of that organ. What emerges is mingled with dross. For a Shakespeare all is forgiven. The rest of us take our chances in a frequently harsh, and sometimes indulgent world, busy at telling its own story. Here you have not one, but a double-barreled blast of my current effusion. If you like it you obviously are a person of taste and discretion. If you cavil at the germ and quibble at the dross, no doubt you are a person of discernment. Please don’t tell me about the fault’s you find, I am already busy elsewhere. Instead write your own book stating your own truth. If that contradicts mine I promise I won’t bring it to your attention. If in the process you discover that picking a quarrel with me is not so important I will be pleased. You have been warned. Here goes.
"Double-barreled"? What was I thinking of?
... wanders off in a blue study



The young man
– scapegrace--
Declined chivvying
into a proper place.
Choose to drift
from space to space
into an old age
saved from disgrace
by obscurity alone.

Happy Solstice!



An Ox and a Moron?


Halfway through the morning coffee I came across Duncan's post on the grifter society. That an arts administrator might claim a salary so far in excess of the annual budget of the small arts groups I can lay any claim to once administering boggles.

But a further thought meditated on the title Chief Executive Officer. Somewhere late in the sixties this locution became trendy, and then de riguere, in place of the title 'President'. It was part of the moves that took top management compensation into the stratosphere. It appears to be an interesting feint.

In the way of things corporate power is nominally wielded by a Board of Directors who delegate their powers to the President. The President runs the operation, with the consent of the board. The military analogue is a Captain of a ship. Said 'Captain' [a title, not necessarily a rank] may report to an Admiral, but still runs the ship.
Assisting him or her is a second in command titled The Executive Officer. Every officer aboard may execute orders, indeed, that is their function, but only one is 'The Executive Officer'.  To call him a 'Chief Executive Officer would be an offense even to the Navy's love of verbal redundance. To call the Captain a Chief Executive Officer would offer a heinous demotion insulting to military honor or gloire or some such.
So, in an epic Uriah Heap move, our quondam president offers to titularly demote himself to Chief Executive Officer for a slight increase in compensation by a power of ten, or so. And, with complete humbleness would be delighted to remove the onerous duties of Chairman of the Board from the Board's weary care including adding to their compensation and a promise to vote likewise for each Director at their own company. All CEOs together!

But, Doctor, What Is in That Coffin?


In the event, it is a century since the demise of Bram Stoker. BBC Radio 3's The Essay presents five short (fifteen minutes each) takes on the man who wrote the book that eclipsed himself and the notable Hungarian actor, Bela Lugosi.



Today's Guardian has an article about job interviewer's trick questions and riddles to winnow applicants.Try this one. You're locked in a pitch-black, empty room with bare walls and no electric lights. You've got a book of matches, a box of tacks and a candle. How would you attach the candle to the wall for a light?The best answer: empty the box of tacks. Take the box top, turn it upside down and tack it to the wall. The box top projects out like a little drawer. Then put a tack to attach the candle to the box's bottom. The tack's point, projecting through the box bottom, serves as a pricket. Finally, slide the box bottom into the box top on the wall. The nested top and bottom will be sturdier than either alone, and safely support the weight of the candle..So that works.If you are used to tacks distributed in full telescope boxes. (that's the kind where the bottom has sides that fit inside the sides of the top.)In my observation, tack makers stopped using that style decades ago. The boxes cost too much and slowed processing which diminished productivity.Reverse tuck boxes had a go. (That's the kind that is one piece and the top flap tucks into the side opposite the one it is integral to.) These were disparaged when the blister pack appeared.These permitted small quantity packaging in an easily handled form. Everybody appeared to win.The customer is sold on the convenience; she can see the product, and buy as few as she needs. There is little excess to store.The blister pack's total retail cost is less than the box price.The seller has an attractive low maintenance display which saves his clerks' time because customers find the options they desire on their own. The cards the blisters were on, make the product bulky enough to discourage shoplifting while they provide a good platform for price tags and, later, bar codes. The maker can inflate the price per unit outrageously. The per pound price of a 100 count box might be $10 at retail. When repackaged in tens, those same fastenings might sell for $1.98 each. That makes $19.98 per hundred. The maker and seller  more than double their margins. The customer "saves" $8.00. Neither blister packs nor reverse tuck boxes would be suitable to support the candle as the full telescopic box does. Given the difficulty I had finding the image of the telescopic box, I guess it would not be very familiar to today's job applicants.The interviewer might think that these children just don't know as much as she did at their age. That would prove that the labor force has declined in quality?Perhaps that is the real point?--ml[...]



Just pay attention.

Gut Jul 2011


As King John said:
To All & Sundry 
F. Christmas in particular!

And may none be denied light enough to see by.

Noir with …


Review by Martin Langeland 
Bruno Heinz Jaja's PunktContrapunct was introduced at the Hoffnung Interplanetary MusicFestival as a sort of kaffee with flagellated cream.
If it weren't a tautology, I might call Roy's book a Noir with … but you see the problem. Fortunately you can read this delightful yarn available at several locales [Itunes, Smashwords, B & N], cheap, and enjoy the whipping as a bystander. From one sentence to the next he will surprise you with wry laughter, or conjure a rueful sigh, at a sharpish observation, while he slips in the necessary info to keep the plot humming along and your ratiocinative powers nicely misdirected. This is that rarity, a book that has been intelligently edited. No wasted effort. No windmilling. Just graceful, skillful language deployment in service of the muse. The sex is nice too. I give it five stars only because a one to four star system permits no higher accolade.

The MBA Culture Defined


 Atrios muses:
I don't have a fully fleshed out point here, but it occurs to me that there are certain people in politics who are like the finance guys in business. They're so removed from the actual product that they're selling that they forget that customers actually need to like and buy their crap.
That's how the Plundecrats go to work this past thirty years and more.



Actually that should read "I've Joined".
Intermittent blogging continues here. But those seeking a social network experience should look for

Bela Lugosi Slurps Again


The fortnight of seasonal tricks and treats quickly, but stealthily, approaches.
To aid your mayhem quest and spread the cheerful dread I offer this virtual haunted house tour through the cobwebby passages of Dum Luks.
Bela Lugosi fans look here for the tale direct and here for the flourishes and details of incipient verisimilitude which warm the cockles while chilling the spine.
Muse on all the likely comers.
When the hobgobblins and haints depart it will be timely to make our penitient orisions with this carefree ditty.
Yet one dry squib remains to delight as our guide turns on his peg leg to ask a penny for the guy.
As the children's radio show host said: That ought to keep the little bastards. Alas the mic was still on and so that was his last show. Fear not. This omnibus score card is neither final nor farewell.

A Dirty Secret


What price a turn of phrase?
Dailykos posts a diary recommending some counter actions to ameliorate the unhappiness of local merchants over toilet use at the Wall Street demos: OWS. It concludes with the above photo of a mural depicting a common cliche.
Thing is, carpets are dirt traps. Dirt arriving on top from boot soles, shedding animals, plants and so forth, wend their way through the warp and weft of the carpet to the floor where continued traffic turns it into an abrasive. I suspect that many a tweeny has been unjustly accused of sweeping it under the carpet when nothing more than normal activity by the occupants of the room caused the pile. No justice for the lower 99%.

A Sweet New Year!


Just out of the oven for Rosh Hasanah.